Even though number of women who use hygienic means to manage menstruation in India is pegged at just 12-15%, this has already opened up a new challenge….How to handle the staggering amount of Sanitary waste.
Sanitary waste disposal has become an increasing problem in India. The plastic used in disposable sanitary napkins are not bio-degradable and lead to health and environmental hazards.
The total amount of menstrual hygiene waste that is generated per month nationwide comes to around 9000 tons…..
What’s inside Sanitary Pad?
Have you ever checked what’s in your pads. Even if you check you won’t find ingredients in sanitary pad as manufacturers are not required to disclose ingredients because feminine hygiene products are considered medical devices.
Sanitary pads are mostly plastic and are made of different layers. The thin top layer on napkins, known as the dri-weave top sheet, is made of polypropylene (a plastic polymer). The padding is mostly wood pulp mixed with super absorbent polymers and the leak-proof layer is made from an impermeable polyethylene. Super absorbent polymer is the magic ingredient that helps to hold water up to 30 times its weight.
Too much plastic means, sanitary pads too carry health hazards. Would like to enlist few….
- Some chemicals present in plastic like BPA and BPS can complicate embryonic development
- The cellulose present in pads can cause cervical cancer
- Rayon which is used to increase the absorbing capacity of pads, contains dioxin. Dioxin is a known human carcinogen.
- Deodorants used in pads can cause infertility and birth defects
What happens to all those soiled napkins ?